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Thousands of anti-Mursi protesters march for change
February 08, 2013
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CAIRO: Thousands took to the streets across Egypt after opposition groups called for "Friday of dignity" rallies demanding President Mohammed Mursi fulfill the goals of the revolt that brought him to power.

The Friday protests come amid substantial public anxiety after clerics issued religious edicts, known as fatwas, calling for the killing of Mursi's political opponents.

Mursi and his allies accuse the opposition of trying to incite street violence to seize power after failing at the ballot box.

In a statement, Murad Ali, a spokesman for the Freedom and Justice party the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm warned the opposition that it would be responsible for any acts of violence that occur during protests. He also called them "losers."

Thirty-eight opposition parties and movements had joined together to call for the rallies, demanding a new unity government, amendments to the Islamist-drafted constitution and guarantees that the independence of the judiciary be maintained.


Protests against the president also took place after the weekly Friday prayers in several of Egypt's 27 provinces.

Banging on drums, waving flags and clapping in unison, demonstrators marched from several locations in the capital to Tahrir Square and the presidential palace.

"The people want the downfall of the regime," the protesters chanted while others slammed interior ministry officials as "thugs."

In Tahrir, several thousand protesters carried aloft a huge Egyptian flag as they listened to speeches and music from the stage.

Several hundred protesters also gathered outside the presidential palace chanting "Freedom, where are you? Brotherhood rule stands between us," in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood movement from which Mursi hails.

The protests come after several incidents of police violence last week that caused public outrage and sparked angry demonstrations.

In the Nile Delta city of Kafr Al Sheikh, police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd outside a government building, as protesters hurled stones at the security forces, the official Mena news agency reported.

In Tanta, police clashed with protesters who tried to break into the municipal council building, Mena added.

Cleric Mahmud Shaaban, a professor at Sunni Islam's main seat of learning Al Azhar, gave the green light to kill opposition leaders including former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed El Baradei and ex-presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, during a talk show on a satellite channel.
Another cleric, Wagdi Ghoneim, also called on Muslims to "kill the thugs, criminals, and thieves who burn the country," state media reported.

Agencies

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